Prince -- yeah, yeah, the Artist-formerly-known-as-the-same-person-he-always-was -- came to New York Tuesday night to launch a new album.
Unfortunately, he didn't bother to show until almost 1 a.m. at Jimmy's Uptown in Harlem, not the 11:30 p.m. mentioned in today's New York Post.
He kept everyone waiting, including media hounds from the New Yorker and Vanity Fair. He even made the kids from American Idol stay up past their bedtimes.
His long-delayed arrival was never explained. It couldn't be anyway. The people who work for Prince told me during the interminable wait that the Purple One doesn't even bother calling them.
"He text-messages when he wants something done," said one Princely source. "There isn't a lot of communication."
Indeed, there was so little communication that Mick Jagger, who was promised all night as the big guest star of the soirée, never showed.
Interestingly, Prince's party was for something no one wants or needs: a three-CD live set. But get this: The thing isn't out yet -- and may not even be finished.
So what was the point of going all the way up to Jimmy's Uptown? It seemed to be just an excuse for masochists to be pushed around by ex-con- or future-con-looking security guards who protected no one from anything.
Prince, who now releases his own records after having fought with everyone in the business, had better get a grip. His last hit, "The Most Beautiful Girl," was almost a decade ago. He has rapidly become a nostalgia act, mixing fond hits of the past with incomprehensible new material. I used to think he was a genius, but now....
Here's a better question: how is it that Elvis Costello and a number of other acts are eligible for induction into the so-called Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but so far Prince's name has not come up? He released his first album the same year (1977) as Costello and has matched him release for release. Or has Suzan Evans Hochberg, who's paid $300,000 a year to figure out who's worthy each year, forgotten him?
I laughed when I read that Elizabeth Hurley had arrived in town for some charity event yesterday. On Monday night, Hurley and comedian Denis Leary were caught together in a private area at Madison Square Garden while attending the Elton John-Billy Joel show.
"They looked very surprised that someone saw them," said my source, who noted that the married Leary seems to spend all his free time with Hurley. The two appeared together in an unreleaseable movie called Double Whammy, but that failure doesn't seem to have dampened their interest in each other.
"I guess Mrs. Leary isn't a fan of Billy or Elton," quipped my source. But Liz sure is. Elton's been there for her during the whole Steven Bing paternity mess concerning her baby since the day she gave birth, letting Hurley stay at his place.
Christopher Reeve's 50th birthday party Wednesday night was an occasion for celebration. As he does annually, Reeve hosted a gala with fellow revelers Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Universal Studios president Ron Meyer and Barbara Walters. They were all born on the same day, but in different years. (Can you put them in order?)
Reeve had many other celebrity guests, including Kim Cattrall and Matthew Modine, making the fundraiser for his Paralysis Foundation the must-be-at event of the week.
But, in the end, no celebrity is more impressive than Reeve himself, who spoke to the audience from his wheelchair and didn't leave a dry eye in the house. He and wife Dana continue to amaze and astound. They are truly inspirational.
It's not an understatement to say every celebrity in New York has migrated to Man Ray restaurant. The West 15th Street hot spot has become the de facto stomping ground of every bold-faced name who can stay awake past 1 a.m.
A few days ago, Naomi Campbell gave herself a birthday party there that featured a rare appearance by U2's Bono. At one point, in a strange juxtaposition, I saw (from left to right) Ivana Trump's new 30ish boyfriend, Ivana herself, Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett and pop singer Usher sitting cheek-by-jowl on a banquette. I know for a fact that Ivana didn't have a clue what was happening.
At the same party: the ubiquitous but useless Britney Spears.
Last night, producer/director/actor Fisher Stevens unveiled his new movie, Just a Kiss, at the very same place. Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber and Kevin Bacon all made the scene.
Of course the result of all this is a steady crowd outside Man Ray, which happens to be on a sleepy side street. Neighbors are starting to grouse, but here's the solution to that problem: Let 'em in.
Now, to make matters even more dramatic, on Friday night, Jack Nicholson will host a private after-after party there for his new movie, About Schmidt, following its New York Film Festival premiere.
I like that People.com reported with great excitement yesterday about the inspiration for Rosie O'Donnell's haircut and her plans to produce Boy George's musical on Broadway.
Those two items were reported exclusively in this space on August 14. It was actually this reporter who figured out the Helen Terry connection (she was the backup singer for Culture Club) and announced Rosie's Broadway plans.
But I guess at People.com, like so many other places, if you never saw it before it's news to you.